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#40891 - 03/04/09 11:21 AM how long will it take...
nsigety Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia, USA
Hi,

I am a young children's piano teacher and a student under my own instructor. I started learning piano seriously when I was about 15 or 16, and I started self taught through the Alfred Adult Beginner Course. I learned how to play Fur Elise completely on my own--all three sections, and the Canon in D in the 2nd year book.

I have been taking lessons since I was 17, but it wasn't until I started teaching to put myself through college that I realized how much I wanted to advance more then anything else in the world. It's amazing how much motivation you get from a 5 year old.

anyway, so now I'm will an excellent teacher. She has decided to put me in John Thompson's grade 3, and honestly I'm just flying through it. I work every week for hours before my lessons. I am also playing songs in Martha Mier book 3, and just completed in 2 days "Catch a Dream?" I think that's what it's called.

I'm also playing lots of sonatinas by Clementi and Kulauh in their original versions.

Either way, piano is so much easier for me then it has ever been. Maybe because my mind isn't as closed off and I'm so motivated to advance.

My question is this, my goals as a musician is to ADVANCE. I've been stuck around in the same level areas for far to long. I really feel myself learning now that I studying in Thompson, but when I finish those books how easy will it be for me to play bigger pieces?

My goal is to be able to play Fantasie Impromptu C# Minor, Chopin...how far away is that for me if I continue to practice heavily as I do and complete each book method?

Just curious about what I am doing to reach my goal and i want to be sure I'm putting in the work needed.

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#40904 - 03/04/09 08:28 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: nsigety]
PianoAddict Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Maryland, USA
It takes time to advance. I'm also an adult student (I started at 23) and have an excellent teacher as well. When I came to her 4.5 years ago, I was barely at an early intermediate level (playing little pieces like Couperin). Now, I'm playing Haydn sonatas, Chopin nocturnes,Bach inventions, and Mendelsohn's songs without words. What she did was give me challenging but attainable pieces. For example, it took me 6 months to learn my first nocturne. My second nocturne took 3 months, and the third took me only 1.5 month to master. It sounds like you're bored with the method books, why not ask your teacher for a challenging piece? It may take you awhile, but if you put in the work (and it sounds like you're willing), it will be very rewarding and at the same time, your reading will improve dramatically. Save the method pieces for sightreading/quick-study pieces. JMO. Have fun and don't stress! My teacher always tells me to "enjoy the journey". Don't worry about what you can't play right now, enjoy what you can play and go from there. wink
Julie
_________________________
"You are musical if you have music not in your fingers only, but in your head and heart." ~Schumann

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#40910 - 03/04/09 11:31 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: PianoAddict]
pianoc Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 1088
Loc: Goshen, Indiana
I've had students spend more than a year in a single level, and I've students move through several levels in a single year.

There are so many variables that dictate the rate of advancement.

Listen to your teacher - and practice. What does your teacher say when you ask her these questions?

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#40912 - 03/05/09 09:56 AM Re: how long will it take... [Re: pianoc]
nsigety Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 96
Loc: Virginia, USA
I'm planning on asking her at my next lesson because I didn't start thinking about it until recently.

I really do love the method books because mostly I've used various ones on my own to keep my love for playing so it feels so good to have structure. I think that is a big reason I'm working harder in it. It also makes me feel good that I can complete a song withen a shorter time frame because previously, do it my own way, I would spend MONTHS that dragged on a song and it got tiring. I also had other teachers that gave me harder music to play but I really wasn't ready for it so I brang it to practices without practicing it.

Overall I'm happier then I have ever been in my playing--I can just sight read everything in Perf. Level 3 Faber- I just learned the flys adventure this morning--

I just don't teach advanced students because I'M trying to advance and i was curious as a teacher what goes into advancing and how will I get the sense that I'm ready for something bigger?

I definiltey know my teacher will give me more appropriate pieces to play so I guess I should just be patient.

I'm just sooooooooooooooooo happy that I can read better now. It's like my eyes opened up a bit bigger and the notes make more sense. That is what I love about teaching...it teaches me how to learn!! smile

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#40916 - 03/05/09 04:31 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: nsigety]
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
You can all jump on me now...but here's my opinion anyway. I don't feel nsigety is ready to be a teacher AT ALL!!! If you teach at all, it should only be family members or friends who don't pay you. You don't have the knowledge or experience to be teaching at this point. Just because you can play pieces up to level 3 doesn't mean much. They are not difficult pieces to play....at least they shouldn't be if you are a teacher! I think people jump into teaching because the money is good and if they can play just a little, they feel qualified. Teaching is sooooo much more than that.

It doesn't say much if a student presents a piece of music to you and you aren't able to play it.

I feel you'd do yourself justice by continuing lessons yourself for at least a few more years before you go down the teaching road. You don't know enough yourself yet let alone teaching others. JMO

Quote>"I'm just sooooooooooooooooo happy that I can read better now. It's like my eyes opened up a bit bigger and the notes make more sense. That is what I love about teaching...it teaches me how to learn!!"

I don't thinking teaching is the time to learn for yourself! It's like a math teacher who knows basic addition, subtraction but plans on teaching calculus and plans on learning along with the students. Unheard of!

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#40919 - 03/05/09 05:19 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: xstitch4me]
graypianoteacher Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 253
Loc: USA
Xstitch, I won't jump on you. But, I do have a question- do you ever think about the way you come across to people? It would be unfair to you to say that ALL of your posts are negative and critical, but a good number of them are. It's like you look for opportunities to be harsh. Are you that way with your students or do you just feel free to air your mean side to people you don't have to face every day? There's a difference in giving someone constructive criticism and trying to break them down. I agree that nsigety needs more experience, but are there any of us here that went into teaching knowing it all? I would never want to discourage someone from persuing something they're passionate about.

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#40920 - 03/05/09 07:07 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: graypianoteacher]
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
I'm not mean. I think I'm honest and people don't like to hear the truth. I will agree none of us went into teaching knowing everything but I'd have to say....any of us who are successful teachers have had much more experience and knowledge than a PA level 3. I didn't discourage her from teaching....just suggested she needs more personal knowledge of the subject (which you just agreed with) before passing her limited knowledge on to others.

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#40922 - 03/05/09 08:04 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: xstitch4me]
GailS Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 618
nsigety, is your teacher overseeing the lessons you are teaching?

I agree with xstitch, you need a lot more experience before teaching on your own. I also think the suggestion that you teach family members and friends at no charge is a good way to learn to teach. When MFPA first came out I actually spent 3 months teaching it to younger siblings of a few of my students at no charge before I felt I was ready to put it into my curriculum and invite 5 year olds into my studio.

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#40924 - 03/05/09 09:16 PM Re: how long will it take... [Re: GailS]
PianoAddict Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Maryland, USA
To be honest, I think we should stick to the topic. Nsigety didn't ask if she should be teaching; she asked how long it would take her to advance. We're here to help each other on this forum in a tactful manner.

(On another note, I think beginning piano teachers should at least seek the advice of their teacher and/or get his/her approval before teaching.)
_________________________
"You are musical if you have music not in your fingers only, but in your head and heart." ~Schumann

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#40925 - 03/06/09 07:53 AM Re: how long will it take... [Re: PianoAddict]
graypianoteacher Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 253
Loc: USA
I agree with what you all are saying. The point of my post was that there are nicer ways to say things.

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